Following its world debut at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, the all-new Kia Rio makes its South African debut. Now in its fourth generation, Kia’s B-segment contender features not only a progressive exterior design, but also a redesigned interior with a ‘floating’ interface and a raft of new in-car technologies.

The Rio is one of Kia’s best selling models globally, with particularly the outgoing third-generation model selling almost 450 000 units globally in 2016. In SA, the Rio has also been a consistent bestseller for Kia, along with the Picanto and Sportage making up the brand’s core trio.

Engine and spec

The new Kia Rio is offered with revised versions of Kia’s familiar naturally aspirated 1.25-litre and 1.4-litre MPI (multi-point injection) petrol engines. The 1.25-litre engine produces peak power of 62kW/120Nm. The 1.4-litre engine produces 74kW and 135Nm. Both engines apply power to the front wheels, either through a five-speed manual transmission (on the Rio 1.2) or a six-speed manual transmission (on the Rio 1.4-litre).

A four-speed automatic transmission is available on 1.4-litre models.

The new Kia Rio is also offered with four specification grades. At the entry level, the Rio LS is only available with the 1.2-litre engine, featuring standard features that include air-conditioning, electric windows, electric side mirrors, central locking with an alarm and immobiliser, a radio system with RDS as well as MP3, auxiliary and USB connectivity, four speakers, steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls, rake and reach adjustable steering, manual headlight adjustment, and a rear USB charging port.

Moving up the grade walk, the Rio LX is only available with the 1.4-litre engine. Exterior enhancements include the addition of UV protection solar windscreen glass, front fog lights, LED Daytime Running Lights and 15″ alloy wheels, while the interior gains a centre console armrest, a leather wrapped steering wheel and gear-shift lever, and a Supervision instrument cluster. The vehicle’s lighting system gains automatic light control with an escort and Welcome Home function.

The next derivative in the range – the Rio EX – is also available only with the 1.4-litre engine, and builds on the already extensive standard features of the LX model through the addition of projection headlamps and LED rear combination lamps, as well as a 7″ Touch Screen Infotainment System that incorporates a Rear Park Assist System with integrated rear-view camera. The Infotainment System also features Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ for full smartphone integration.

At the top of the range is the familiar Kia Rio TEC. As with its predecessor, the Rio TEC is only available with the 1.4-litre engine and adds further comfort and convenience to the EX grade through the addition of machine-finished 17″ alloy wheels, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, as well as cruise control, an electro chromatic rear-view mirror, alloy pedals and leather upholstery.

Range and pricing

Rio 1.2 LS Manual – R219 995
Rio 1.4 LX Manual – R234 995
Rio 1.4 EX Manual – R249 995
Rio 1.4 TEC Manual – R274 995

All models are available with an optional automatic transmission for an additional R13 000. A sunroof is available as an option on the Rio TEC for an additional R8500.

Available as standard is a five-year or unlimited km warranty, inclusive of five-years or unlimited km roadside assistance, as well as a four-year or 60 000km service plan.